Day one, screening one

I started off the day with the usual trawl of the Internet sites to find some interesting stories for the Movie Blog, not many as it turned out, and then I turned my attention to check my email, that’s when the biggest surprise of the day came, bigger than anything that happened at the EIFF Press Centre or my first screening.

I had received an email from someone I didn’t know through the Movie Blog address, nothing new there I get a lot of emails from companies and readers alike. It was neither, it was a certain Director of a movie I am going to see tomorrow at the Film Festival, and he had seen the post about the Festival visit and noticed his movie on the list. I was stunned and excited but wrote back straight away. So, all going well, I hope to meet him tomorrow and get a few words for the movie write up.

There’s another first for me. I’d received a screener DVD from a Director just the other week and he even wrote thanks on the sleeve, but having a Director contact you because you’re about to go and see his movie is just unbelieveable. Once again, as a journalist’s site calls itself, it feels like someone else’s life.

The next step is to give him a call and arrange something, not as formal as an interview, just a chat. Hopefully after the movie as well and we can see if there are some interesting snippets to come out of the conversation. Otherwise you’ll hear nowt.

The rest of the day didn’t really compare. I toddled off to the Point Hotel and the EIFF Press Centre where I collected my Press pass and a nice bag filled with various bits of information for the weeks ahead, Press info, pen, fold out timetable, a nice little interactive CD on Scotland and a big brochure on all the movies. I tried to check out the PC’s they have setup for Internet access unfortunately they’re not yet working! So then it was off to my first screening.

Some ugly man's photo has been superimposed on my EIFF Film Pass!Here’s a little picture of the Press pass, what a lovely mug! You know, just putting this picture up I’ve realised something, I haven’t paid my five pounds fee! Tomorrow, if I have time, I’d better remember to hand that over.

I have to say that the staff there were all very helpful and friendly. I arrived and was pretty upfront, declaring that this was my first ever Festival as Press and began asking loads of questions. They managed to answer just about all of them and make me feel a lot more relaxed about the whole event.

The same can be said for the first screening. Quickly asking someone at the cinema about the etiquette I was walked through it before they disappeared for a phone call promising to return. They never did, but then I was heading off into the first movie of the Festival for me, and I wasn’t about to miss that! Arriving some twenty five minutes early I was asked for my pass, so I fished it out and put it over my head.

Now, this is a thing you’ll see in Edinburgh during Festival time, people walking around the streets wearing their ID badges round their neck, showing that they’re Press or behind the scenes people, or they’ve just fixed something up to look important and try and pull the ladies in the bars in the evenings.

Being an Edinburgh resident I don’t go for that (and my girlfriend would probably throttle me!), so I tend to put it away when I’m wondering the streets and take it out when I’m attending a Press screening. Call me crazy, but that makes sense to me. Perhaps I don’t need to show off as much as everyone else…although my friends might suggest otherwise!

So I was let in and sat down. I took the time to leaf through some of the information that was given to me at the Centre, and found out some of the rearranged schedules and the latest Press releases – nothing exciting by the way – and waited. In the end there were only about fifteen people in the cinema, and I’m counting the two from the EIFF staff. Not that many, indeed a few of the staff I’ve talked to so far have said it’s very quite compared to last year, particularly in the mornings. Good tip to remember.

So we settled down for Mørke. It was about fifteen minutes late in starting, now that’s not usually such a bad thing in the cinema, just an inconvenience, but when there are multiple movies showing in multiple cinemas, back to back for the entire Press event, it means you are on a tight schedule. Tomorrow I am looking to see five movies…no small feat I’ll tell you. So if one movie is late you have to make a call, leave early and catch the next on time, or stay and miss the next one.

That’s exactly what someone said behind me. They had planned for four movies that day and it looked like the plans were already ruined. Still, as soon as he had said that, the usual happened and the movie began.

What a movie to open with. It’s a very powerful and emotional thriller with some really good acting. I thoroughly enjoyed it, that’s more can be said for some of the Press.

It’s interesting to see how many people had to go to the toilet in the middle of reviewing a movie, sure they can do that I’m not saying anything against it, but if anyone should see the full movie it should be the Press. Still, that wasn’t that bad compared to the people who arrived for the ending! Are they going to go and write about the movie now? Pad it with exposition of the story and then say something dramatic about the ending before collecting their fee? I couldn’t believe it.

I did stay put until the ending, and moreso because it’s a gripping movie. Then it was out to the hall, leave the cinema, and removal of the pass to head home. Strangely I walked all the way, the film had me in a strange frame of mind, but that’s a good thing because it had an effect on me. I didn’t just leave and forget about it.

So that’s the warm up. Tomorrow I have to attempt five movies, and that’s going to be one huge task. I have no idea how to see them all, keep notes, and then write them up. I suspect I’ll be doing even less around the house this weekend, more on the computer and I’ll have to bow to my lovely girlfriend who will support me along the way with tea, food and ibuprofen!

Now, off to read the changes to the schedules, and think about tomorrow!

2 comments on “Day one, screening one”

  1. Richard Reply

    Sorry Nadioz. After seeing Lopez in the trailer I was turned right off. If I’ll see it I’ll go to a press showing or opening night at a normal cinema night. Didn’t look like my cup of tea and time is limited at the EIFF.

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